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Full text of "Mathematical And Physical Papers - Iii"

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active and the dispersed light have very nearly the same refrangi-bility. But such changes could not be observed even with a pure primitive spectrum, because in the place where they occur the primitive and derived spectra overlap; and independently of this, the brilliancy of the primitive spectrum would prevent all exact observation of the derived. It is true that, in the case of chlorophyll, or some of its modifications, changes of intensity having apparently somewhat the same nature were observed when the active and the dispersed light were widely separated in refrangi-bility. But the sensibility of this substance is difficult, if not impossible, to observe in the case of a washed paper or a green leaf, except by one of the methods not yet described, so that it is not to be expected that such fluctuations could be made out. Besides, it is to be remembered that the fluctuations observed in the case of solutions of chlorophyll were fluctuations in the rate at which dispersed light was produced, not fluctuations in the sum total of the dispersed light produced by the time the active light was exhausted. Fluctuations of the former kind by no means imply fluctuations of the latter; and indeed the circumstance, that maxima of activity in the solution correspond to minima of transparency, would seem to show that the total quantity of light dispersed, considered as a function of the refrangibility of the active light, is not subject to these fluctuations, or at least not to anything like the same extent. Now the total quantity of red light dispersed by a green leaf, or by a paper washed with a solution of chlorophyll, must depend upon the sensibility of this substance and upon its transparency conjointly, and therefore it is likely enough that such maxima, and minima, would not be observed, even were the dispersed li^ht much stronger than it is.
107. Suppose now the slit by whieh the lii^lit. enters to be placed in a horizontal instead of a vertical position, so as to lie in the plane of refraction. Corresponding to li^lit of any given refrarigibility, the of the slit formed after refraction through the prisms and lens will now be a narrow parallelogram, which may be regarded as a horizontal line. The series of (hose lines, succeeding one another in a horizontal direction, and consequently overlapping, forms the. spectrum incident on the body examined. This spectrum is now no longer pure, but only approximately so, a point, however, which, as we have seen, is not of much con-